Ben Mines and James Sands are the future of New York soccer, and both will be on hand at the upcoming Major League Soccer Homegrown game.
Mines, of New York Red Bulls, is the fifth-youngest player on the Homegrown roster. Sands, of New York City FC, has regularly made appearances for the United States U-17 National Team and recently struck the winning penalty kick to help NYCFC win the 2018 U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-19 Championship in Kansas City, Mo.
The two will be part of the MLS team coached by Atlanta United Academy Director Tony Annan that will take on Tigres UANL’s Under-20 Team in the fifth annual Homegrown Game on Tuesday, July 31 at 8 p.m. ET at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground.
Mines, who signed an MLS Homegrown contract on January 8, made an immediate impact for Red Bulls as he scored his first career MLS goal in New York’s season opener against Portland on March 10. He ranks third all-time in franchise history behind Eddie Gaven and Jozy Altidore for the franchise’s youngest goal scorer. The Ridgefield, Ct., native also became the fifth youngest player to score on his debut in MLS history, and second-youngest starter in his debut, per Elias Sports Bureau.
In addition to his MLS debut this season, Mines has started in nine of the 10 USL matches that he has appeared in. The New York midfielder has tallied one goal and one assist in 730 minutes played.
Sands in the summer of 2017 was signed by NYCFC as the team’s first Homegrown Player and has seen action with the first team over the past year. This will be the first Homegrown game for Sands, a native of Rye, NY.